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I’ve climbed the Himalayas. OK, technically I didn’t climb them. But I rode on the back of a motorcycle through them, I rode a bicycle through the crooked goat paths that served as streets, I walked the multitudinous steps of the temples of Nepal. Those hills seem minuscule when compared to the hills I climb everyday to find my happy place. The brief glimpse I allow myself of the mountains that surround me as I drive down the hills to Peterborough first thing in the morning, are merely mole hills compared to the majesty of the mountains I have physically encountered. So why do they seem so insurmountable sometimes? Because it is not them, but the landscape I create outside of nature, in my mind. The landscape of bills, and obligations and emotional support I should be able to offer, that has always been a deep well that I could draw on, and never see a half-full bucket at the end of the day.

These are the lessons to be learned. These are the truths to be acknowledged.

“Kathmandu is not for the country club set. Narrow, unpaved streets are lined with low shop fronts. The many-tiered dwellings above boast open windows for viewing the hustling life below.”

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In September of 1982 I found myself trying to save a marriage to a man I should have just been a best friend to, instead of thinking we were life partners. Maybe that is how it ended up anyway, though we have not spoken in over thirty years. We were just kids, trying to find our way.  We took a break from the monotony of life to explore a culture, since the culture we were living in, in Jakarta, wasn’t foreign enough to bring us together. At 27 years old with all the mental stimulus of life as an ex-pat, I was restless and bored, seeking to reinvent myself. Why should I wonder at the daily upheaval I seem to embrace?

In 1979 I was a twenty-four year old exercise lad at the track in Trinidad contemplating a move around the world to Jakarta. I have weathered the storms, made the moves and honored my mind when it said, “This is the direction, this is the time.”  Why does it feel so hard this time? Maybe it doesn’t feel any harder than back then, maybe it feels the same, but I have become blind to the peace that comes with getting through the change?

I have my words, I have my journals, my memories that tell me exactly where I was on this day, a year ago, ten years ago, thirty years ago. And reading those yellowed pages tells me I am going to be just fine. That this path is no steeper, no rockier, no harder to climb than the paths of the past. This mountain is no greater than any I have faced. It’s all in my perspective…

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7 comments on “Climbing the Himalayas

  1. Touring NH says:

    Time softens our memories. You can look back in your journals and read, but even with that, you can’t truly remember how it actually felt. It’s like giving birth…if women actually remembered the horrible pain, we’d never do it again (at least I wouldn’t have). We all struggle. You WILL get through this. You have always been strongest when things were the toughest.

    1. Thank you Laura. I feel stronger now than ever and it is the reflection and friends who remind me that make it so. Like the little girl who was presented with a pile of manure instead of a Christmas pony, I will dig in and tell myself, “I know there’s a pony in here somewhere!”

  2. While in the mountains you must have noticed the stunted trees. Though they look as if they’re barely hanging onto life they are actually much stronger than trees that grow in sheltered valleys. It is the wind that makes them strong, and storms that would blow down all the trees in a sheltered valley are nothing to them because they are so used to it.
    We are the same way. Each storm we weather makes us stronger and more confident that we can weather the next one.

  3. amcory says:

    So beautiful, visually and poetically.

    1. Thank you, your reading, following and comment are the reason to keep going!

  4. Thank you. I am blessed by your wisdom and words.

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